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Go Back   Theoryland of the Wheel of Time Forums > THEORYLAND STEDDINGS > Forum Archives > Archived - WoT Discussion Boards > Book 12: The Gathering Storm
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  #1  
Old 11-27-2009, 09:09 PM
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Default Seanchan Omens

So, we've gotten to see a lot of Seanchan omens ever since Tuon came front and center into the storyline. She relies on them for all her decisions as do all the Seanchan.

So, it begs the question: Are they in any way real or is it complete hocus pocus superstitious BS?

The floor is open for debate.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2009, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
So, we've gotten to see a lot of Seanchan omens ever since Tuon came front and center into the storyline. She relies on them for all her decisions as do all the Seanchan.

So, it begs the question: Are they in any way real or is it complete hocus pocus superstitious BS?

The floor is open for debate.
I'm not sure we can say that ALL the Seanchan follow the Omens as rigoruously as Tuon does.

I suspect that there are a lot more Seanchan who pay lip service to Omens than who shape their lives around them as Tuon does.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2009, 11:47 PM
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Interesting. There is very little in these books that doesn't turn out to mean something later on. The omens seem too good to pass up from a literary standpoint. More concretely, in tSR right before Mat's cards attack him, he hears a cock crow. After the attack, he says "whatever his father said, the omen had been real."Rand and Perrin each think things are good omens in tEotW and tDR respectively. Still, it seems more like they think of omens in the way we do, like knocking on wood.

It seems like a good counterbalance to the Seanchan always thinking Randlanders are superstitious and believe in folktales like Trollocs. Suddenly, the Randlanders are the nonbelievers and the Seanchan were correct in sticking to older beliefs.

You might be onto something...
  #4  
Old 11-28-2009, 03:42 AM
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I would say they are just as real as ta'veren, Trollocs, and everything else that was thought of as superstious nonsense by the Seanchan. RJ made it a point to show a complete world. Up until we were shown For(Tuon)a's pov we were only shown the ta'veren, The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills, you are tied to your thread, etc. pov. as Trutino points out we saw a few hints of omens and superstions that the characters acknowledged but they were "folk tales to scare the naive".

Now we have been given the other side of the coin.
Quote:
TITLE: Knife of Dreams
CHAPTER: 26 - As If the World Were Fog
"Thank you," she told him politely. "I think I've heard enough." Ta'veren. Ridiculous. These people and their endless superstitions! A small brown bird, surely a finch, flew out of a tall oak and circled widdershins three times above Toy's head before flying on. She had found her omen. Stay close to Toy. Not that she had any intention of doing otherwise. She had given her word, playing the game as it had to be played, and she had never broken her word in her life.
Tuon finds this talk of ta'veren and bending the Pattern around one individual ridiculous. Then immediately after she sees an omen and notes the importance of it.

I think both sides are equally valid and give us a more complete picture of how things really are all tied together. The Pattern isn't just the lives and threads of the people, but the entire world, universe, what have you is all connected, all tied together. Some see ta'veren, others see omens. I say they are both right.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:19 AM
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We have discussed this before. Briefly.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2009, 10:23 AM
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I'd be more inclined to believe in the Seanchan omens if it weren't for the bit when they try to predict the weather, fail, and then blame the whole thing on Selucia because she didn't count the ants properly. It stands to reason that anyone in service to someone who believes wholeheartedly in the omens would have to become an expert themselves, so I doubt Selucia would really have miscalculated.
  #7  
Old 11-28-2009, 10:28 AM
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LOL, let's not be so black and white about it.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:52 AM
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Well, it's certainly possible to predict the weather based on the behavior of animals, especially birds, so I'd say her beliefs have a little validity but less as omens and more as folk knowledge and primitive meteorology. Given the sheer volume of different omens the Seanchan have to watch out for, I'd guess there must be a dozen potential omens they overlook for every one they notice. Which omens they see and follow functions more like a Rorscharch test than a Foretelling.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:23 PM
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Other than the weather omens (which were inconclusive at best), the rest of them have been fortune cookie omens, vague enough that the dedicated omen-reader is bound to find something to fit. It's like reading horoscopes.
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Old 11-28-2009, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Terez View Post
We have discussed this before. Briefly.
How in the world did you remember a thread from 4 years ago like that? Thanks for the link.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
How in the world did you remember a thread from 4 years ago like that?
All I remembered was my post about the albatross. And now, after looking at it, the only other bit I remember reading was Frenzy's post, lol.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:14 AM
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All I remembered was my post about the albatross. And now, after looking at it, the only other bit I remember reading was Frenzy's post, lol.
I noticed the date of that thread and it was from one of my "breaks" from TL. I took a couple and that one was a good 8 month one.
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davian93 View Post
She relies on them for all her decisions as do all the Seanchan.
Relying on the omens make it easier for the pattern to direct Tuon's actions. It isn't foolproof, but in a way its as good as Min's viewing for Rand and more explicit than the dice for Mat. In fact, she might as well be taveren if she adheres so tightly since the pattern can weave her in the direction it wants.

It could account for her phenomenal rise among the Imperial family as much as taveren accounts for the rise of Rand, Mat and Perrin as well
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Old 11-29-2009, 03:05 PM
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If Tuon can channel, is it possible that she has Nynaeve's ability to sense when good/bad things are going to happen? Could it be that when she gets these feelings she instinctively searches for omens so that she doesn't need to admit to herself that it is comeing from within?
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Old 11-29-2009, 11:15 PM
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When the owl hooted before Mat's ambush, Tuon read the omen that someone was about to die. She was right. When Mat put his hat on the table, Tuon AND Selucia read the omen that it was very bad luck. She was right. Even counting the number of ants wrong, there was still precipitation. When has Tuon's reading of the omens ever been wrong?

The Pattern is more than just the people infesting it. It is all life, all things, and all things pull and tug on each other. If you know what to look for, you can see the Pattern being woven in more than a metaphysical manner.

and i can say cock here all i want. cock cock cock. Heh, remember when the old board censored Imram for writing Ashitaka when discussing Princess Mononoke because it had shit in it? That was asinine, and hysterical.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:35 AM
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So, if omens are real, and I'm thinking they might be, are there any hints to how they might factor into the last two books? At the moment, I can't think of any that have been noted by a character but haven't been addressed later in the storyline. Perhaps we're meant to be surprised when they turn out to be true and even critical at some point?
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:37 AM
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I was under the impression that reading omens accuratly were complicated. I think Tuon said something along the lines of one omen has to be read in light of another omen that came along later.

That sounds a lot like the prophecies of the real world Oracle in ancient Greece. She was always right but her answeers were vague enough that it could mean anything. The Seanchan have an omen to predict death. Well someone one is always dying somewere.

Also I'm only going from memory but I think that Tuon saw some omen to back up her belief she had to stick close to Mat but from her Pov she was planning to do that no matter what so for all her belief in omens what she sees is very much shaped by what she thinks needs doing in the first place.
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Old 12-01-2009, 10:53 PM
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it's in my earlier post in this very thread
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